Bright yellow sunflower heads
The Horticultural Therapy Institute (HTI) is a training and education provider based in Colorado, USA. Its mission is to provide education and training in horticultural therapy to those new to, or experienced with, the practice of using gardening and plants to improve the lives of others.

While the Institute has no physical base, it has links with Colorado State University who offer HTI courses accredited by them and lead to a university certificate in Horticultural Therapy. The curriculum they offer includes four courses covering the fundamentals, techniques, programming and management of Horticultural Therapy.

The HTI website also offers a range of resources that may be useful to STH practitioners. Most of these are created to promote its courses by, for example, showing guest speakers talking about their projects, what past students have gone on to achieve and relevant local TV news clips.

The video resources page can be found here and typically includes video clips exploring the benefits of horticultural therapy for different user groups, - from schoolchildren and young people to older people – in different project situations. The videos vary in length and whilst the content is US-centric, they are worth a watch as they contain a lot of useful information – much of which is still relevant to a UK audience and can offer fresh ideas and outlooks.

Ikebana flower arrangements in vases
Ikebana flower arrangements in vases

One of the videos, for example, features the therapeutic horticulture program at the Missouri Botanical Gardens and demonstrates Ikebana – a traditional Japanese flower arranging technique. The video takes a look at what this activity entails as well as discussing the therapeutic benefits of flower arranging. If you’d like to have a look, please click here.

Another interesting video looks at ‘Enhancing School Garden Programs using Horticultural Therapy’. This is a 30-minute video and talks through the process of documentation within an educational programme and how a trial session is delivered. The session is based around using verbena to make tea and also looks at the sensorial qualities of the plant, its history and culture of use. The rationale for the session and its approach are described as well as the importance of doing this.

If you’re interested in finding out more about what the HTI offers, you can visit their website here.

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